BioNetwork 2009 Keynote Panel: Adopting Best Practices To Expedite Due Diligence Processes

Our technology allows people to move information online so it can be shared, exchanged and discussed with others in a secure, virtual environment to minimize or eliminate the need for in-person meetings like the antiquated "physical data room" of yesterday.


15 October 2009

At BioNetwork West 2009 in Laguna Niguel, CA last week, I had an experience much like spending time with friends: I left thinking about new things, considering different perspectives and even doing some research to learn more about a new topic introduced. The conference was crafted to facilitate networking between members of the Life Sciences community - from biotechs to big pharma and everyone in between. The atmosphere was friendly - people were there because they wanted to connect with others to discuss promising compounds, technology and pipelines and explore possible partnerships. I had so many great conversations with so many people who are passionate about what they do that my mind was exploding with new information and ideas.

The value of such face-to-face exchanges is obvious, which lead me to look at the value derived from the much different type of exchanges provided by Intralinks. Our technology allows people to move information online so it can be shared, exchanged and discussed with others in a secure, virtual environment to minimize or eliminate the need for in-person meetings like the antiquated "physical data room" of yesterday.

When we spoke at the conference's keynote Panel, "Adopting Best Practices to Expedite Due Diligence," my fellow panelists Kevin Kuehm, VP Global Transactions and BD&L for Bayer Healthcare, Anne Dollard, Deputy General Counsel and Chief Patent Counsel for Takeda San Francisco and Jim Hattersley, VP Business Development at Sun Pharmaceutical Industries and I touched on this topic. The consensus among us was that while using a VDR is probably the single easiest "no brainer" way to expedite due diligence, face-to-face meeting are still critically important and also need to happen. Putting together a good partnership requires not just interest and clear mutual benefit, but also a cultural "click." Ultimately, you need to know if you can work together as open and collaborative partners to make your shared vision a reality in the time frame expected.

So how does this all gel together - online due diligence and deal management, the elimination of the physical data room and the important of face-to-face meetings? I spent more time thinking about this on the long flight back from California to New York. I think using a solution like Intralinks allows the in-person meeting to be richer and more meaningful. When everyone is able to do their due diligence online whenever and wherever they want, ask and get answers to their due diligence questions in the same environment, and ultimately come away with a deep and complete understanding of the partnership opportunity before them, in-person meetings can focus more on the cultural fit and strategic alignment that is what will really determine if they partnership makes sense. Kind of like getting together with friends - sharing perspectives, opening your mind to new ideas, and exploring possibilities you may not have considered before.